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Tate Britain

12th Apr 2016

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In February 2017, the Tate Britain will open an extensive retrospective of the work of David Hockney, one of the most successful and recognisable artists of our time.

The exhibition will celebrate Hockney’s achievement in painting, drawing, print, photography and video. As Hockney approaches his 80th birthday, the exhibition, presented as a chronological overview, will trace his development from the moment of his prodigious public appearance as a student in 1961, through to his iconic works of the 60s and 70s, and on to his recent success at the Royal Academy and beyond. Following its presentation in London, the exhibition (organised in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou and The Metropolitan Museum) will tour internationally in Paris and New York.

The exhibition will show Hockney as an intelligent and profound interrogator of the essence of art. Over six decades he has questioned the nature of pictures and picture-making and challenged their conventions. His art is one of the great landmarks of post-modernism, using parody and self-reflection, and playing with representation and artifice. The exhibition will review early works such as the Love paintings made in 1960 and 1961, with which he subverted the language of abstract expressionism into homoerotic autobiography. The witty and brilliant invention of Hockney’s first two decades of work will be explored, including his portraits of family, friends and himself, for example Self Portrait with Blue Guitar 1977, as well as his iconic images of Los Angeles swimming pools. It will include Hockney’s celebrated Yorkshire landscapes of the 2000s and work made since his return to California in 2013.

Hockney is an artist who has frequently changed his style and ways of working, embracing new technologies as he goes. For the first time this exhibition will demonstrate how the roots of each new direction lay in the work that came before. For example, his radical ‘joiner’ assemblages of photographs, such as the famous Pearlblossom Highway 1986, informed the paintings of his Hollywood home and the Californian landscapes that he made then and after; and his abstract works of the 1990s influenced his perception of the Yorkshire Wolds and the Grand Canyon.

‘It has been a pleasure to revisit works I made decades ago, including some of my earliest paintings. Many of them seem like old friends to me now. We’re looking back over a lifetime with this exhibition, and I hope, like me, people will enjoy seeing how the roots of my new and recent work can be seen in the developments over the years.’
- David Hockney

David Hockney opens on 9 February 2017 and runs until Monday 29 May 2017 at Tate Britain.

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David Hockney 
Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)
Private Collection
© David Hockney

David Hockney 
Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006
© David Hockney

David Hockney 
Model with Unfinished Self-Portrait
Private collection
© David Hockney